Hevy Festival may only be in its third year, but it has fast become everyone’s favourite ‘smaller’ summer festival, putting on a stellar line up and attracting a few thousand music lovers to Port Lympne Park in Kent.
This year brought as varied a line-up as previous years, with four stages showcasing some of the strongest musical talent the rock industry has to offer. Most festival-goers queued in the scorching sun for a good few hours to get on site early on Friday, and music kicked off in the afternoon across three stages, with performances from the likes of Lower Than Atlantis, Don Broco, Tek One and Sonic Boom Six. But the music didn’t end there, with the Front girls hosting after-hours DJ sets each night turning the Hevy arena into a massive outdoor club into the very early hours.
Many woke to a sunny Saturday a bit sunburnt, bleary-eyed and worse for wear but turned up en masse for the day’s musical offerings. London metallers Hang The Bastard opened the Jagermeister stage, which took turns with the Red Bull Bedroom Jam stage, which showcased a selection of the UK’s most talented unsigned young and up-and-coming bands.
When Trash Talk pulled out of all their UK dates including a spot on the Main Stage this weekend, Hevy fans took to the Facebook to campaign for a replacement and it seems they listened as Feed The Rhino and TRC were announced, splitting the original slot into two 25 minute slots. Local Kent boys Feed The Rhino whip the crowd up into a mess of arm-swinging pits and a huge wall of death, before TRC brought their hardcore punk-rapcore-grime infused aggressive live show to the hugely pleased crowd.
Saturday afternoon saw a huge turnout for an emphatic performance that marked the end of a seven-year career for Brighton boys The Ghost Of A Thousand. The band played their final headline show last week, but this festival performance served as the band’s final farewell, and they looked to make it a happy send off, with frontman Tom Lacey singing with the crowd in the pit, calling for a conga line instead of a circle pit, and a wall death replaced by a wall of hugs and high-fives.
Architects warmed up the Jagermeister stage before headliners Dillinger Escape Plan with a loud, chunky set of crowd-pleasing tracks quite heavily drawn from latest album ‘The Here And The Now’. A great live band, they put on a powerful, jumpy show, and a perfect open to the night’s headliners. If you’ve not seen Dillinger Escape Plan live before, you’re quite frankly missing out. Their live show is an absolute hurricane, echoing the frenetic energy and chaos of their mathcore sound, but on a far louder, far more intense scale. Frontman Greg Puciato is a powerhouse and charged about the stage with boundless energy and borderline aggression, as bassist Liam Wilson thrashed about throwing his guitar around like a madman. The band tore through a tight-as-hell set spanning almost their entire 14-year career, a concentrated force of fury, muscle and incredible live music skill.
Read part two of the review here >> Hevy Festival Review Page 2
Review by Laura Callan
All photos © Laura Callan / Enrique Bazan